From the first few chords of “Bei Mir Bist du Shein,” Tatyana Amirova had the judges of “The Voice of Ukraine” dancing in their chairs and clamoring to have her join their teams.
Amirova’s jazzy rendition of the Yiddish standard from the 1930’s earned her a standing ovation, but it was the extensive video package exploring the 22-year old Odessa native’s Jewish traditions and roots that got our attention.
Filmed at her synagogue and in her home, the video cuts from scenes of Amirova and members of her community praying to those of her at home with her grandmother. “I have a large, friendly and happy Jewish family,” she says in Russian. “I am extremely happy that I’m Jewish.”
Dressed modestly, Amirova talks of her respect and adherence to Jewish traditions and her desire to share her voice and culture with listeners. But it was not just Amirova’s Jewishness that features heavily in the video, we were also surprised by how much the judges responded to not only her choice of song, but her openness about her religion. “Do you speak Hebrew?” asked one of the judges in Hebrew. “Everything b’seder,” quipped another.
“Everyone picks a standard song when they come on,” a judge said, “but you picked a unique song.”
“I was raised with Jewish traditions,” Amirova answered, “and I am honored to revive Jewish culture which, unfortunately, not everyone remembers nowadays.”
Watch the and Amirova’s spirited performance below: